What contact rights do I have with my child as a father? :- Family Choice Mediation Clifton

June 22, 2022

This article discusses your rights as a father to maintain contact with your kid. The word "contact" has been substituted for "access," however these terms are frequently used interchangeably in everyday speech. Likewise, the term "custody" has been substituted by "residence" For the purposes of this blog, "access" and "residence" will be used.
Important to highlight in regard to this subject is the concept of parental responsibility. We have already talked on parental responsibility and what it entails, but to recap, it is "all the rights, duties, authorities, and responsibilities that what a parent of a child has with the kid under the law" (Children Act 1989).

Parental Responsibility

Having parental responsibility entails, among other things, having the authority to make decisions for your kid, such as schooling and medical care. You will have the fundamental duty and responsibility to provide care for your child and ensure their well-being.
Only biological mothers are automatically granted parental responsibility, although this does not exclude dads from having parental duty. You will have parental responsibility as a father if you were married to the biological mother when your kid was born, or if you were listed as the father on your child's birth certificate. You can still obtain responsibility for a child of your kid through with a parental responsibility agreement (when the bio mother consents to you having parental responsibility) or a parental rights order if none of these conditions apply (where the Court will order that you have parental responsibility).
When applying to the Courts for a parental responsibility order, the Court will take a number of things into consideration. A judge will give top importance to your kid's best interests: is it in the best interests of the youngster to spend time with their father? It is generally acknowledged that it is in the best interest of a kid to spend time with both parents. However, there may be circumstances, such as security concerns, that add subtlety to this response. A judge will also evaluate the amount of time you have previously spent with your kid as a father, your connection with your child, and your reasons for filing the application.

Disputes about time spent with your child

Even though you have parental responsibilities as a father, there may be family-related conflicts that prevent you from having contact with your kid. Consequently, arguing parents frequently seek Family Choice Mediation Clifton or petition the court for what is known as a Child Arrangements Order.
What is an acceptable level of contact between a father and his child is a topic that frequently arises in child arrangement disputes. Realizing that there is no predetermined amount of time that is suitable for a parent to spend with their children might be confusing. Some dads may spend time with their children through a shared care agreement, in which the children spend equal time with both the mother and the father. Some fathers may see their children every other weekend, while others may see them once a month. Individual circumstances and the subjective character of your situation play a significant role.
You do not necessarily have the right to have contact with your kid as a father. However, your kid has the right to maintain communication with you. If you have parental responsibilities, you and your kid will have the right to spend time together. This allows dads to have the same amount of contact with their children as the child's mother. This may grant the following privileges:

  1. to spend time with your child at specific times and days;
  2. to spend the above amount of time uninterrupted and for the whole period of time agreed upon;
  3. to participate in certain activities with your child;
  4. to spend time with your child without the other parent's supervision (to have unsupervised contact where it is safe to do so).

A Child Arrangements Order

When parents cannot agree on where a kid will reside and/or how often and for how long a child will spend time with each parent, they may petition the courts for a child arrangements order. It is essential to remember that parents should pursue Family Choice Mediation Clifton before filing a court suit. In reality, it is a legal need to have attended an MIAM (with limited exceptions) prior to filing an application with the Court. Here you may book an MIAM.
In the event that Family Choice Mediation Clifton is unsuccessful, you may submit a C100 form to request a Child Arrangements Order. This is an order issued under the 1989 Children's Act. You are effectively filing a combination application for a child arrangements order and a parental responsibility order by submitting this form. The Act stipulates that courts must issue a parental responsibility order to the father when determining living arrangements for a kid. However, a successful parental responsibility order is not granted automatically if the order pertains to you spending time with your kid. However, the courts may typically grant parental authority in these situations, especially when there are no worries regarding your child's safety.
When submitting an application about your children, it is crucial that you pay careful thought to their lives and best interests. For instance, you should consider your child's schedule and daily activities and guarantee that your application will not interrupt their lives.
Particularly at Family Choice Mediation, arrangements for your children may be flexible. Parents who separate amicably [link to amicable blog] may agree to joint custody, in which the kid lives with both parents. Consider many alternatives, such as alternate weeks or weekends. It is essential to remember that as parents, you should strive for flexible coparenting .

What about fathers who reside overseas?

Occasionally, following a divorce, parents may decide to relocate to another nation. As a result, it is more difficult to include a phrase refers into a sequence or an agreement, which might complicate child arrangements. In these situations, indirect contact, such as FaceTime conversations, emails, and letters, might be a viable option. All previously indicated best interests factors will be reviewed once again. An arrangement or agreement may contemplate different arrangements for term time and school holidays in terms of direct interaction. In more amicable divorces, parents can simply allow their kid to spend longer amounts of time with their parent living overseas, so long as it is in the child's best interests and does not negatively affect their life or development. Keep in mind that arrangements are adaptable and should be adapted to your kid and family.

What should I do if my child refuses to spend time with me as a father?

As a father, this may be quite tough to hear and a highly emotional event. As stated previously, the courts will consider your child's best interests. In doing so, the Court refers to the "welfare checklist" specified under the Children's Act. On this list are a child's desires and emotions.
If your child is at least 12 years old, it is quite probable that the court will consider their wants and feelings. Rarely, the Court will examine the opinion of a youngster less than 12 years old. Your child does not have the legal authority to determine whether they should maintain a contact with you. In this situation, it is the obligation of the parents to evaluate why their child feels this way and what they may do to overcome this and go forward positively with a healthy father-child connection.
In some cases, CAFCASS may assist with this by meeting with your kid and speaking with them. CAFCASS will identify any problems and provide the court with a Section 7 report detailing their findings. This report is helpful for the court in making judgments, but it is also beneficial for parents in understanding the difficulties that must be addressed.
In any event, moms are often expected to aggressively encourage contact between their kid and the father. The courts may get worried if this is not occurring and there is a possibility that this is due to the mother's influence. This is referred to as parental alienation and is viewed as contrary to the child's best interests.

What am I to do next?

If you are suffering with any of the difficulties discussed in this blog, the first step is to contact our friendly Family Choice Mediation team. We can provide you with a no-obligation consultation on the technique and process for resolving family issues. We may also schedule your initial Family Choice Mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) and help you reach an agreement through the Family Choice Mediation process. This may be accomplished by calling our staff at 0113 468 9595.
If Family Choice Mediation is unsuccessful, you may choose to file a court application. If you choose to talk with an attorney, we have compiled a list of Family Choice Mediation-friendly attorneys. Support is also available from volunteers at Support Through Court and Citizens Advice. You may learn more about the Family Court Application Service here if you want private assistance.

Contact a Mediator in Clifton today on 03300 100 309

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